We are looking at what God did in eternity, “before time began, before the foundation of the world,” that impacted what has happened and will happen in time and space. We’re calling it the Grand Plan that led to the Great Reveal!

Each member of the Godhead played a vital role in the execution of the plan. Here’s how we’ve described it in previous studies –

  • God the Father sends God the Son
  • God the Son sends God the Spirit
  • God the Spirit speaks of God the Son
  • God the Son glorifies God the Father

It’s a beautiful and powerful completed circle where every member of the Godhead is demonstrating love to each other and to the world they created.

The Apostle Paul used the “before” terms in his letters –

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” Ephesians 1:3-5

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” 2 Timothy 1:8-10

Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior.” Titus 1:1-3

The Apostle Peter used one of the “before” terms in his first letter –

“… knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” 1 Peter 1:18-21

Jesus mentioned it in a prayer to His Father on the night of His arrest –

Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me.” John 17:24-25

God the Holy Spirit

We turn now to the role God the Holy Spirit played in the grand plan designed “before time began, before the foundation of the world.”

The Holy Spirit is active and energetic. We see His activity and energy displayed from the beginning of the revealed Word of God – “And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2) – to the ending of the revealed Word of God – “And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17).

In fact, the Holy Spirit is the One who revealed God’s Word!

And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:19-21

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

When did the Triune God decide that the Holy Spirit would be the revealer of God’s Word by inspiring prophets and apostles? “before time began” – “before the foundation of the world.”

It’s important to remember that what God does in time and space was determined in eternity. God has not, does not, and will not ‘make it up’ as He goes. God is not limited by time and space. He has no boundaries. Understanding that is quite freeing, as we will see in future studies.

The Helper

The plan of God for human beings was such that they (us) would need a LOT of help. Jesus called the Holy Spirit the παράκλητος (paraklétos). The Greek word can be translated as “helper, comforter, consoler, intercessor, advocate.”

Here are some of the things Jesus said about what the Holy Spirit would do as the Parakletos. Keep in mind that all of this was determined in eternity and was revealed after time began.

If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:15-18

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” John 14:26

But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.” John 15:26-27

Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.’ I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.” John 16:7-15   

 So Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.’ And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.” John 20:21-22

Jesus promised His disciples that He would send the Helper, God the Holy Spirit, to give them power to be witnesses of Christ throughout the world. Jesus did that soon after He ascended back to Heaven –

And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, ‘which,’ He said, ‘you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’ Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, ‘Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’ And He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:4-8

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:1-4

We would make a mistake to think that the Holy Spirit didn’t act as a ‘Helper’ to God’s people until Jesus sent Him on the Day of Pentecost. God the Spirit helping people started long before that.

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship.” Exodus 31:1-5

So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord, and he gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people and placed them around the tabernacle. Then the Lord came down in the cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and placed the same upon the seventy elders; and it happened, when the Spirit rested upon them, that they prophesied, although they never did so again.” Numbers 11:24-25

When the children of Israel cried out to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for the children of Israel, who delivered them: Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel. He went out to war, and the Lord delivered Cushan-Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed over Cushan-Rishathaim. So the land had rest for forty years.” Judges 3:9-11

So Samson went down to Timnah with his father and mother, and came to the vineyards of Timnah. Now to his surprise, a young lion came roaring against him. And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he tore the lion apart as one would have torn apart a young goat, though he had nothing in his hand.” Judges 14:5-6

Now these are the last words of David. Thus says David the son of Jesse; Thus says the man raised up on high, The anointed of the God of Jacob, And the sweet psalmist of Israel: ‘The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, And His word was on my tongue. The God of Israel said, The Rock of Israel spoke to me: ‘He who rules over men must be just, Ruling in the fear of God.” 2 Samuel 23:1-3

These are just some of the dozens of examples of how God the Spirit helped people in the Old Testament, just as He did in the New Testament and He does now in us.

The Revealer

Jesus said that God the Holy Spirit would “testify” about Him. That’s a primary role of the Spirit – determined in eternity, executed in time and space.

Here’s a quick reminder of what Jesus said the Holy Spirit would do when Jesus sent Him to the disciples and the world after He (Jesus) departed from the world.

The Holy Spirit of God, the “Spirit of truth,” will –

  • Convict the world of sin
  • Convict the world of righteousness
  • Convict the world of judgment
  • Guide you into all truth
  • Not speak on His own authority
  • Speak what He hears
  • Tell you things to come
  • Glorify God the Son
  • Take of what is Christ’s and declare it to you

(From John 16:7-15)

But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.” John 15:26-27

God the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth who proceeds from God the Father and testifies of God the Son. John 15:26-27 presents succinctly and powerfully the eternal plan of God.

God the Son sent God the Holy Spirit, who “proceeds from” the Father, to the disciples. God the Spirit testifies of God the Son and helps the followers of Christ bear witness of the Son.

There’s a lot more detail to cover about the amazing Work of the Holy Spirit, but this gives us a strong foundation for understanding His role in our epic journey.

** God the Holy Spirit reveals God the Son who reveals God the Father. **

Next Time

In the next part of our study we will see how God began to put His eternal plan into motion.

[Read the first seven chapters of The Great Reveal in this free Ebook]

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.